Revealed: the enormous carbon footprint of eating avocado

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Tucking into an avocado has a carbon footprint five times bigger than eating a banana, according to new research.

Avocados have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their perceived health benefits, with the UK market now worth £187 million.

But a new study conducted by Carbon Footprint Ltd claims a small pack of two avocados has an emissions footprint of 846.36g CO2, almost twice the size of one kilo of bananas (480g).

This is because of the complexities involved in growing, ripening and transporting the popular green fruit.

Avocados are mostly grown in the tropical southern hemisphere, in countries such as Chile, Peru or South Africa, and must be flown thousands of miles to reach the UK.

They must also be kept at the exact temperature to trigger ripening, while many are wrapped in protective packaging to ensure they are ready to eat straight away.

The study, conducted on behalf of It’s Fresh!, found all these processes result in the avocado having a carbon footprint three times the size of a large cappuccino.

Simon Lee, Founder Director of It’s Fresh!™, said: “Avocados have become extremely popular mainly because they’ve been linked to a healthier lifestyle.

“When you consider everything that has gone into getting this fruit to the consumer – the cultivation, the ripening process and the transportation, then the size of the carbon footprint is not that surprising.

“It highlights how important it is to prolong the life of the avocado. When you waste food, you waste everything that went into creating it and people don’t always consider this.”

Iain Forsyth, Environmental Consultant at Carbon Footprint, said: “Our research shows the largest footprint comes from the cultivation, ripening and processing stages of the avocado lifecycle.

“This is not a surprising result as there is a lot of associated energy and resource used during these lifecycle phases, accounting for the high emissions footprint overall.”


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